Tour - Sky's the limit for Wiggins after strong start

LIEGE, Belgium Sun Jul 1, 2012 10:30am IST

Sky Procycling rider Bradley Wiggins of Britain cycles during the individual time trial in the first stage of the 99th Tour de France cycling race in Liege, June 30, 2012. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel

Sky Procycling rider Bradley Wiggins of Britain cycles during the individual time trial in the first stage of the 99th Tour de France cycling race in Liege, June 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Bogdan Cristel

Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers ride their camels as they rehearse for the "Beating the Retreat" ceremony in New Delhi January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

"Beating The Retreat" Rehearsals

Rehearsals are on for "Beating the Retreat" ceremony which symbolises retreat after a day on the battlefield, and marks the official end of the Republic Day celebrations.  Slideshow 

LIEGE, Belgium (Reuters) - Bradley Wiggins, sweat dripping from his famous sideburns, went all out to prove he is the man to beat at this year's Tour de France and was rewarded with a 10-second advantage over his nearest rival after Saturday's prologue.

Wiggins has been almost unbeatable in time trials this year and although Switzerland's resurgent Fabian Cancellara robbed the Briton of glory through the hot streets of Liege, Team Sky know second spot is a major marker for the three-week race.

Defending champion Cadel Evans of Australia already trails fellow all-rounder Wiggins by 10 seconds after managing the 6.4 km looped course in seven minutes 30.36.

"I'm really happy, the legs felt good and I stayed calm and relaxed," Wiggins told reporters.

"It's a good start and the main thing was to stay upright, safe and trouble-free.

"Fair play to Fabian, he's the best in the world at what he does and I think he proved that again today."

Cancellara led the rest of the pack in the time trial by an astonishing seven seconds but Wiggins' Team Sky colleagues still had a good day with Edvald Boasson Hagen fifth and Chris Froome 11th.

"Obviously the first priority is to look after Bradley and maybe in doing so there are others to go for the general classification," Froome said, adding that he would be "fired" if he said having ace sprinter Mark Cavendish in the team was a distraction from helping Wiggins.

Last year's green jersey winner Cavendish, who is also world champion, found the going tough as expected and finished 41st in the time trial but he is expecting to feel as bad in a hilly first stage to Seraing on Sunday.

"The time I decided to ride I couldn't do," he said, panting for breath by the line. "Tomorrow is too hard, Monday is where it starts for us."

Time-trial world champion Tony Martin of Germany had an even worse day, suffering a puncture when going well and ending up 23 seconds behind rival Cancellara.

"I had to change the bike, I think it was a quick change but it dents morale, it dents rhythm and I'm very disappointed," the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider said. (Editing by Alison Wildey)

Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Australian Open

Reuters Showcase

ONGC Share Sale

ONGC Share Sale

ONGC share sale scheduled for this fiscal - oil minister  Full Article 

The Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in Tokyo June 26, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files

Record Earnings

Apple iPhone sales trample expectations as profit sets global record  Full Article 

'Umrika' At Sundance

'Umrika' At Sundance

From Oscars to Sundance, Sharma and Revolori discuss India's 'Umrika'  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Smooth Wawrinka, ill Serena through to Melbourne semis   Full Article 

India's Male Tenor

India's Male Tenor

India's lone male tenor aims to sing opera in local key  Full Article 

Japan Hostages

Japan Hostages

Mother of Japanese captive begs PM to save son held by Islamic State  Full Article 

Tripoli Attack

Tripoli Attack

Frenchman, American among those killed in Tripoli hotel attack - Libyan official.  Full Article 

U.S. Blizzard

U.S. Blizzard

Blizzard hits Boston and New England, spares New York despite forecasts.  Full Article 

Spying Row

Spying Row

Spying program leaked by Snowden is tied to campaign in many countries.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage